Steve Adamyk / The Steve Adamyk Band

Dial Tone

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

Steve Adamyk likes his rock & roll fast, loud, full of hooks, and short on needless frills, and that's exactly what he has to offer on Dial Tone, the fourth full-length release from the Steve Adamyk Band. This is lean, muscular music clearly inspired by the straightforward wallop of first-wave punk rock, with a dash of power pop in the crunchy, intertwined guitars and a hint of garage-rock sneer in the vocals, and Adamyk and his cohorts -- guitarist Davey Quesnelle, bassist Sebastien Godin, and drummer Dave Forcier -- dole out plenty of energy without a lot of fuss, rarely stopping for anything superfluous like solos or extended instrumental breaks, and spending most of the album lighting out for the straightaway in fifth gear. Adamyk and his band are locked in tight from the moment they burst into "Forced Fed," and they barely stop to catch their breath before "Not Gonna (Ever)" comes to a halt. There's no arguing that Adamyk knows a good melody when he thinks one up, and this is a bracing dose of punk/pop action with truly impressive skills on display. However, while Adamyk's hooks are good, his lyrics are a bit less impressive, and pushing them deep into the mix only helps them so much, and the album's obsessive focus on energy has a downside, as these songs are propulsive without having a sense of direction much of the time. The lack of dynamics makes Dial Tone sound monotonous by the end of track 13, and an album with songs this good really shouldn't wear out its welcome quite so readily. The Steve Adamyk Band do one thing very well on Dial Tone, but the album would be more effective if they did a few other things, too, just to give this some variety, rather than heading past the same scenery over and over again like a Yogi Bear cartoon.

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